NCDC Reports 15 Lassa Fever Cases and One Fatality Within a Week

Lassa Fever
Lassa FeverGHS

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) recorded one fatality and confirmed 15 new instances of Lassa fever nationwide within the span of a week, as disclosed in its Week 13 situation report released on Friday. 

Lassa fever, an acute viral hemorrhagic disease, spreads to humans through contact with contaminated food, household items, or infected individuals. 

Symptoms encompass fever, headaches, sore throat, weakness, coughing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, chest pain, and, in severe cases, inexplicable bleeding from various bodily orifices.

While the number of confirmed cases dropped from 25 in Week 12 to 15 in the current reporting period, suspected cases rose compared to the corresponding period in 2023. 

Cumulatively, from Week one to 13, the nation logged 806 confirmed cases and 150 fatalities, with a higher case fatality rate (18.6%) than in 2023 (17.5%). 

Twenty-five states have reported at least one confirmed case across 125 local government areas in 2024, with Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi accounting for 62% of all confirmed cases.

Despite no reported infections among healthcare workers in the reporting week, individuals aged 31 to 40 were predominantly affected. The NCDC activated the National Lassa Fever Multi-partner, Multi-sectoral Incident Management System to coordinate responses nationwide. 

Challenges in combating Lassa fever include delayed case presentations, leading to increased fatality rates, and poor health-seeking behavior attributed to the high cost of treatment, inadequate environmental sanitation, and awareness in heavily impacted communities. 

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